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The European Commission has proposed a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035. That means it would be impossible to sell combustion engine cars from then. Picture: SUPPLIED
The European Commission has proposed a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035. That means it would be impossible to sell combustion engine cars from then. Picture: SUPPLIED

Berlin - Germany’s government will not agree to EU plans to effectively ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035, finance minister Christian Lindner said on Tuesday.

In its bid to cut planet-warming emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, the European Commission has proposed a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035. That means it would be impossible to sell combustion engine cars from then.

European Parliament lawmakers backed the proposals this month, before negotiations with EU countries on the final law take place.

Speaking at an event hosted by Germany’s BDI industry association, Lindner said there would continue to be niches for combustion engines, so a ban was wrong and said the government would not agree to this European legislation.

Lindner, a member of the pro-business Free Democrats, which shares power with the Social Democrats and Greens, said Germany would still be a leading market for electric vehicles (EVs).

With a number of countries set to ban the sale of internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles soon, EV growth has spiked in recent years and the forecast is for new-energy vehicle sales (including EVs and plug-in hybrids) to exceed those of internal-combustion engine car sales by 2038 globally.

The need to reduce air pollution has driven a huge growth in sales of vehicles with no exhaust emissions, and global electric-vehicle (EV) sales more than doubled in 2021, bucking the trend in what was a difficult year for the automotive industry due to the global chip shortage.

According to EV-volumes.com, sales of battery-powered cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles reached 6.75-million units in 2021, 108% more than in 2020.  In 2019, 2.2-million electric cars were sold, representing only 2.5% of global car sales.

China, Europe and the US account for about 90% of worldwide electric car sales.

The adoption of EVs has been slow in SA with just over 1,000 battery-powered cars on our roads from a fleet of more than 10-million cars.

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